CMLL Puebla: Operation Octagon No Sell
Tonight was the last CMLL Puebla show before the 84th Anniversary Show this Saturday. I’m pretty sure no one would’ve noticed if I hadn’t said that, as it was business as usual at the house Tirantes shit all over. If anything, the focus remained on the returning Octagón, who came back for a second straight week after his triumphant return and proceeded to be even better, worse and funnier than last week all at the same time. No wonder he’s legend. Other stuff happened as well, but don’t worry; we’ll get into that soon enough. Can you tell how excited I am to review this show?! Moses, meme before I start getting distracted over Jack Evans teasing that Hart Foundation 2.0. reunion.
Centella Roja, Hijo de Centella Roja, Meyer defeated Ares, Fuerza Chicana, Perverso two falls to one
There was a point in this match where I was convinced my write up would be me just saying “WHY GRODD WHY?!” over and over again. That’s how boring the first two falls were, aside from brief flashes from Hijo de Centella Roja. Luckily the third fall was far more open and far less focused on the rudos stretching the match out for unknown reasons, with both Centella Roja’s looking good and Meyer and Perverso doing better than usual. It was the kind of match that made you wish both Centella Roja’s (particularly the son) would be given better opponents. I’m fairly convinced the kid can go at a decent level, but there’s no way we’re ever going to find out if he keeps getting put against the Ares’ and Fuerza Chicana’s of the world. At least for tonight he was able to drag some respectability out of them and put together a third fall that was good enough to make it respectable. If only the rudos hadn’t hogged fall two with a whole bunch of meaningless, long winded offense. I may have been able to say this match was good, forcing several people I know to fall out of their seats in shock.
Disturbio, Espanto Jr., King Jaguar defeated Arkalis, Rey Samuray, Tigre Rojo Jr. two falls to one
Arguably the best part of this match was seeing King Jaguar walk out in discount Heavy Metal’s place. And I’m not even a huge fan of King Jaguar! That I was so thrilled to see him should be proof that the only Canelo Casas should be allowed to do is carry Heavy Metal’s bags for his next CMLL booking. Come on Paco; bring back Metal and kick this wannabe to the curve!
The second best part of this match was a tie between Rey Samuray and Tigre Rojo Jr. They’re always reliable on these shows and it was no different tonight, even though I’d argue it was an off night for Samuray, who didn’t seem as crisp as usual. Even still he displayed his ability to do amazing shit, like improvising mid flight to save a botched rana, hitting an awesome springboard arm drag to the floor and a rana that featured so much movement you probably wouldn’t be able to tell what he did even in slow mo! And like I said, this was an off night. He and Rojo (who was above average) carried the action throughout and almost made this good. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough oomph from the other participants to get this over the finish line, not to mention an anti-climax of an ending that saw the rudos take full control and then pin Rojo quickly following a Disturbio knee attack. Guys, if I wanted to see a first or second fall finish to close a match, I’d only watch the first or second fall. Be better!
Misterioso, Sagrado, Vangellys defeated Blue Panther Jr., The Panther, Stigma two falls to one
The way this match started it looked like we may actually be in for an above average match. Then things cooled off once fall one ended and never picked back up. Part of the problem was that the guys didn’t really seem to click at times. Stigma and Sagrado are good workers and at times they looked really good together, but there were several instances where they seemed to be off. I’m looking at you specifically, code red spot that was botched by Sagrado dropping Stigma. Between that, a little too much rudo domination, a sloppy sequence of multiple near falls and not nearly enough of Junior and Panther getting shine (despite both guys being the best workers in the match) all led to this match feeling like a missed opportunity. The only good thing I can say is the first two minutes were great and better here than at a big Arena Mexico show.
Ángel de Oro, Kráneo, Valiente defeated Cavernario, El Felino, Johnny Idol two falls to one
You know you’re match is meaningless when the high point is Cavernario planting a big wet one on Johnny Idol’s lips. Frankly I’m still trying to figure out why this match existed. I know the original plan was something involving Diamante Azul before he bounced for France, but couldn’t we have just gone with something else after that happened? Am I wrong for thinking that here? In fairness to these six, they did their best to make it entertaining and things were better in the third fall when they got the pairings right and allowed Valiente/Idol and Oro/Cavernario to have decent sequences while Felino and Kráneo did comedy. Even with that though, it wasn’t enough to save this match from being pointless and a waste of time. I think I just summed up the show up to this point!
Carístico, Octagón, Volador Jr. defeated Gran Guerrero, Negro Casas, Satoshi Kojima two falls to one
We’re now two weeks into CMLL’s “Great Octagón Experiment” and there’s one thing I can say with absolute certainty; Octagón’s selling is so bad that it’s almost an art form. I’m dead serious. This guy took at least five moves from the rudos tonight and either sold them by lightly stepping back towards the ropes/turnbuckle or by not selling them at all. Vampiro cannot believe how much Octagón was shitting all over the rudos’ attacks. I don’t know if Octagón’s ego has ballooned so far out of control that he just feels he can’t sell for anyone (including two legends like Negro Casas and Satoshi Kojima) or if he’s trying to avoid doing bumps because of some injury (and even on offense he didn’t really bump, save for that suicide dive). I just know that his selling was out of this world terrible that I ended up laughing hysterically at it and enjoying the match more because of it. It was a truly Wiseauean experience, and I’m all for more of those in wrestling.
Even funnier than Octagón’s selling; this match was actually kind of alright in my book. I mean sure, they didn’t really do anything of note but I’ve had worse times watching a wrestling match. Octagón, when he’s not selling, actually can still do stuff if the rudos are willing to sell, and Negro Casas, Gran Guerrero and Kojima were all willing to do that. If only Octagón were willing to give back! Elsewhere Volador and Carístico were solid in coast mode, Kojima continues to look like he’s having a great time, Negro Casas is Negro Casas and…well let’s just say Gran Guerrero didn’t fill anyone with any more confidence for the Anniversary Show with his performance tonight. Then again Niebla Roja could take his mask off tomorrow to reveal himself as Kazuchika Okada and I’d probably still be worried. Alas, unless we’re about to find out the reason Octagón was brought in was to replace Roja in that match, we’re getting it and that’s that. By the by, I’d totally buy that conspiracy theory. After all these years Octagón suddenly returns to CMLL right after Niebla Roja quietly disappears (putting the main event in jeopardy) and Dr. Wagner Jr. gets a massive payday for losing his mask? Maybe Octagón saw the cash, had his armed bodyguards Nancy Kerrigan Niebla Roja’s knee and is about to drop his mask to the tune of $1 million this Saturday after he no sells every Gran Guerrero attack while Rob Viper has a coronary. I wouldn’t bet on that being the scenario, I’m just saying it wouldn’t stun me.
And scene. I’m out till tomorrow sports fans, but you’ll see me with a new CMLL History column before the day is out. Till we meet again, THIS!